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Shiurim on Chumash and Navi by Menachem Leibtag
In Memory of Rabbi Avraham Leibtag (1 Shvat, 5682 - 5 Adar, 5756)

for SUCCOT V'ZOT HA'BRACHA & BREISHIT

For Succot & Shmini Atzeret

Succot - Questions for Preparation and Self Study

Shiur #1: From Yom Kippur to Succot
Shiur #2: Succot - to 'know' or to 'remember'
Shiur #3: The Dual Nature of the Chagim in Emor
Shiur #4: Shmini Atzeret: What's Special About the number 8?
Shiur #5 - The Chagim in Parshat Pinchas
Shiur #6 - The 'Musafim' in Parshat Pinchas
Shiur #7 - The 'Double' Musaf of Succot

for Parshat v'ZOT ha'BRACHA

Questions for Preparation and Self Study
Questions for Preparation -word format

Shiur #1: The Order of the Tribes in Moshe's Blessings

for Parshat BREISHIT

Questions for Preparation and Self Study
Questions for Preparation - in Word format
Introduction to Thematic Study of Chumash and 'parshiot'
The Two Stories of Creation

The Order of Moshe's Blessings
V'zot HaBracha is a classic example of a Parsha that almost everyone knows by heart, but almost no one understands. The reason is very simple - its words are very difficult to translate, and its flow is very hard to follow. In this week's shiur, we try to 'break the ice' by undertaking a very basic analysis of its structure and theme. As we shall see, it's really not so hard after all. Online:
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Introduction to Thematic Study and Parshiot
One of the most significant - but often overlooked - ways that Chumash conveys messages is through its division into "parshiot". As we begin our study of Chumash with Sefer Breishit , we dedicate a short introductory shiur to this important topic. Online:
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The Two Stories of Creation
How many stories of Creation are there in Parshat Breishit, one or two? Although this question is more often discussed by Bible critics than yeshiva students, its contains a significant spiritual message. This week's shiur discusses the structure of Parshat Breishit, in an attempt to better understand the meaning of the Torah's presentation of the story of Creation, and to 'set the stage' for our discussion of the overall theme of Sefer Breishit in the shiurim to follow. Online:
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From Yom Kippur to Sukkot
We are all familiar with custom to begin work on our SUCCAH immediately after Yom Kippur. Although this custom is often understood as simply a great way to 'get off to a good start', ["m'chayil el chayil"], it may also allude to something more significant. Online:
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An Agricultural or Historic Holiday?
In contrast to Pesach which commemorates the Exodus - an event that took place on a specific day, Succot commemorates our dwelling in 'booths' for forty years in the desert - an entire time-period of our nation's history.
Now, considering that Bnei Yisrael lived in "succot" for some forty years in the desert, there appears to be no 'historical' reason to prefer celebrating this holiday in Tishrei over any other month. Nonetheless, the Torah insists that we celebrate Succot in the fall, at the culmination of the harvest season. Why does the Torah associate the commemoration of this important stage of our national history with a harvest festival?
In our shiur, we attempt to explain why.
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The Dual Nature of the Chagim in Emor
What is a "moed?" To most of us, the Hebrew word "moed" implies a holiday [i.e. a "yom-tov"]; a more precise English translation would be a 'fixed' [or 'appointed'] time. So why doesn't Parshat Emor use the Hebrew word "chag" [holiday] or "zman" [a set time] in its description of the holidays? Why is specifically the word Moed emphasized in Vayikra chapter 23? Furthermore, is it just by chance that the same Hebrew word "moed" is used in the phrase Ohel Moed that describes the Mishkan? In this week's shiur, we attempt to explain the thematic importance of Sefer Vayikra's description of the Moadim. Online:
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Shmini Atzeret: What's Special About 8?
Is 'eight' a magic number in Chumash? Or, is it only coincidental that specifically the 'eighth day' is chosen when God commands Avraham Avinu concerning Brit Milah; the 'eighth day' is chosen for the dedication of the Mishkan; the 'eighth day' is chosen for the day on which the cleansed Metzora, Zav, and Zavah bring their special korbanot; and in Parshat Emor, the final holiday is "Shmini Atzeret" - the 'eighth day' of Succot! In the following shiur, we return to Sefer Breishit in search of the biblical significance of the number 'eight.' Online:
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The Internal Structure of the Holiday Torah Reading
You may not have noticed, but on every Jewish holiday (including Rosh Chodesh) the Torah reading - either the entire reading or at least the "maftir" section - is always from Parshat Pinchas! Likewise, we include a quote from Parshat Pinchas in every musaf prayer that we daven. As we will see in our study of chapters 28-29, the reason is very simple. Hopefully, this week's shiur will also enhance your appreciation of "tfilat Musaf." Online:
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The Internal Structure of the Holiday Torah Reading
You may not have noticed, but on every Jewish holiday (including Rosh Chodesh) the Torah reading - either the entire reading or at least the "maftir" section - is always from Parshat Pinchas! Likewise, we include a quote from Parshat Pinchas in every musaf prayer that we daven. As we will see in our study of chapters 28-29, the reason is very simple. Hopefully, this week's shiur will also enhance your appreciation of "tfilat Musaf." Online:
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The 'Double' Musaf of Succot
In Parshat Pinchas (Bamidbar chps. 28-29) we find a complete list of all the korbanot MUSAF which we offered in addition to the daily TAMID offering in the Bet Ha'Mikdash. In this shiur, we will examine the korbanot offered on the different holidays to help shed light on the nature of the holiday of Succot. Online:
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